Title: Delayed Reaction
Subtitle: A collection of poetry and prose
Date: May 16, 2008
Notes: Delayed Reaction is a collection of original poetry and prose ranging from free verse, playful lyricism to political commentary and personal essays. The pieces in this book were primarily written over a one-year span between 2003 and 2004, which Sean likes to refer to as his “This Time I Really Mean It” period.

      Last Night’s Suicide Note

      Delayed Reaction

      Xanax Anyone?



      Cathedral Girl in a Cathedral World

      Any Possibility of a Cease Fire This Morning?



      Something Under The Bed

      Stamp Lick


      Porpoise Love

      An All-American Boy

      Ink Wells

      Remote NYC Blues

      [Untitled Bonus Track]

About the Book: The works in this collection were mostly written over a one-year span between 2003 and 2004, which Sean likes to refer to as his “This Time I Really Mean It” period.

About the Author: Sean M. Hogan lives in Elizabethtown, PA, via a few east coast cities, the University of Buffalo, and several imaginary stops. At the time of this printing, Sean has finished one novel and several short stories, and is hard at work on more. He’s worked in journalism, advertising, sports collectible publishing, and roofing (for a day or two). He has two children and no agent. His spouse, Julie Hogan, is a published non-fiction writer.

Sean has written for numerous websites including zygoteinmycoffee.com, Litkicks, Newsvine and Sportingo. He was one of 6 winners of Litkicks’ Quest writing contest in October 2003 and in September of the following year, some of his fiction and essays appeared the site’s “Action Poetry” collection. In 2007 some of Sean’s poetry appeared in “Infinite Tide,” an anthology published by the online community Studio8.

Sean is currently involved in a project to update and distribute a next edition of “Steal This Book,” the revolutionary text originally written by Abbie Hoffman.

Steal This Book Today: Steal This Wiki at:

Make your city famous — support local writers.

©2003–2008 Sean M. Hogan

Last Night’s Suicide Note

She went into the bathroom and started throwing up.

Everything about just about everything was horribly wrong. He sat on the edge of the bed, almost slipping off, slipping into sleep all from merely weariness. His back slouched. the edge of the bed, the steel wire there, crept further towards his tailbone as he let his weight bring him down. The mattress gave, bounced slowly, and he dropped to the floor.

Outside it was getting light. again. another darkness over. He could hear her wretching in there. Then the shower came on. He laid down on his side, curled up, and fell asleep. He felt better. Maybe all he needed was the cry.

Soon he felt her hand on his hip. Waking him. She smelled like sweet subtle soap and her skin was soft. She wanted him back up in bed.

He climbed in, stayed curled. He held his arms to his chest, afraid to look at her. She wrapped him up in herself. She wrapped him up in herself and he was warm again, finally. Her hair fell against his nose. He drifted off, damp from her and warm.

“Dont ever do that to me again,” she said, again.

“I’m sorry.”

“You’re so selfish. I cant believe you would do that to me.”

“I know. I’m sorry.”

He thought about the oven door, how it made that noise when it opened. They were getting ready for work in the bathroom. It was clean. The mirror was fogged from her shower, and he shaved, distractedly.

He wanted to talk about it more, but he didnt want to. He wanted the things to be discussed, but he didnt want to be the one talking about them. He wanted to talk about it, but he didnt want to have to open his mouth about it, to put the words together that would make her fear, to put the thoughts together that would make himself realize he had to get on with it.

He gave the thing more thought this time. He wrote the note down on the inside back cover of one of his books. He folded it and put it into his back pocket. It was good to see it down on paper, everything. It was good to have it. It was easier to write than to talk; less effort.

His car waited for him in the remnants of the rain. twilight was coming again. The sky had a fun glow to it, as if from possibilities somewhere that were hovering over him, laughing. As he approached the car he noticed the droplets of old rain hanging on its finish, the mud around the back left wheelwell that was gone now, washed. The road map on the seat on the passenger side.

He thought about his children; if he would ever have any. He knew he’d be a failure at that, too. He wouldnt even have to try. He wouldnt even be able to bring himself to try. He thought of her, washing her hair, and thought of the thin fabric of her underwear that rested away from her skin, suspended by her hips, taut and light. He could touch it, gently, and she wouldnt even know. Just like the ends of her hair.

He passed a tree. He passed another tree. He drove home, again. He thought of how he was messing her up, making her worry for no reason. He thought of the children they would have, and how he would mess them up, too, by just not doing anything. He wondered how things ever add up, when there isnt anything that ever happens. Life’s math’s repetition of wistful make-believe elements. It adds up to everything, if you believe in the magic that says there was anything there to begin with.

He rounded the corner slowly and drove up the hill to the house. The sun was down and it was dark.

Every day he got a little bit closer, and a little bit further away.

Delayed Reaction

i would have liked
to write
about the breakup
but i was
putting things back together
i thought many times
about putting down
lots of words
stuck together
with feeling and meaning
about the time
the concrete fell
and steel beams blew
dust thick like waves
down the streets
but i was busy
brushing off my shirt
i’ve written ten books in my mind
when i was shaking at my hands
but something had to talk
no one on stage
singing the blues
feels anything but notes
i’ve always wanted
to tell you how i feel
but i’ve been way too busy
standing in my window
feeling the inside
of my cuffs

Xanax Anyone?

it’s not true
your mother was wrong
the therapist is lying
disney broadway is a deconstructionist effort
the monkey passed out at the wheel
the decoder ring
got lost in the mail.
the only coherent noise
is the static at the end of the dial.
they’re only not watching
because they’re bored.
throw away your socks
medicate medicate medicate, sure.
build a hole
i’m a sandwich
the tides are going up in smoke.
your teacher just likes apples
or so she says
it’s not the moon
books are gagged not bound
make it up
make it yours


another genius hanged himself today
i know this cause the sun came u p
and burned thru dusty blinds
and stained glass windows,
and we missed salvation once again.

the g a s station attendant
drunk on wine
drew puzzle pieces on sticky notes
and filled his room with yellow
he got to the sense of life
but it just made him
have to take a piss

all the good lines have al ready
been written
and stood in.
dont close the bathroom door again.

i dont believe
any of this
can just happen
all over again.


all i could think was
i saw you last week
and you did the same damn thing.
at some point
i have to start lowering my expectations
no matter how you decide
to show yourself to me

Cathedral Girl in a Cathedral World

she sat there on the steps
of the cathedral
with her unwrapped crosses
dripping in holy water
while her sugar daddy
bowed to the stars
had a beer
and another
mother numbed
and she picked out another
top 40 record in her mind
spun it
and got in line.
she watched the people
walk by her
looking up the road
making a stride
while she bemoaned
the dinosaur footprints
she pretended could hurt
and she clutched her crosses
and spat out mad cow disease,
the stuff oozing from her brains,
‘cause it was trendy
at the time.

a man dressed as a priest
for halloween
walked up
and urinated on her

someone so “current”
obsessed with the past
groping for ownership
over characters
in someone else’s play
she’s a walking hypocrisy
with the irony
of a railroad track
holding down reason
in the headlights.

she dipped her crosses in the piss.
fooled again.

Any Possibility of a Cease Fire This Morning?

any possibility of a cease fire this morning?
a chance to take the garbage out?
maybe run to the market for some bread and meat?
maybe a bottle of some “get me thru”?

i’d like to splash in the puddles, please
i’d like to take my kids for a walk
i’m not asking you to take down the sirens
or forget how to scowl
just a little time for a nap is all

if you turn off your video game violence
i promise to turn off my cnn
if you promise to put your holy books on the shelf
i’ll loan you my thoreau
if even only for a little while

i’d like to take an elevator
without considering the fall
i’d like to lay down in the park
and not contemplate the pall

any possibility of a cease fire this morning?
go ahead, time yourself
you dont want to go stale
i’m just looking for a small reprieve
something to make it seem
like there can be a reminder
of what you pretend
to be fighting for.


left lane flying
rumbling music
dead on to the
bip bip bip
of the white broken lines
and i’m whistling away
the day
and i’m thinking of
and home
and where is work
and where is home
and i’m whistling
and i’m whistling away
just first in the
creating flourishes
between verses
but then it starts to grow
and i’m whistling
counting dotted lines
counting beats
and i’m whistling away
words and
attacks and
a self-imposed list of things i need to do and things i need to be and things i need to think about and
whistling away
things i think to dwell about in currency i dont understand in someone elses foreign mind and i’m
whistling away
and all i hear is my whistle
over the beat
and the mindlessness
of sweet road sounds
on a dark nite
and over the hill
theres a solitary house
and a glimpse of a tree
within the windows, lit
with white lights
and i empty,
and listen to the whistle of the road


the all-night girls, they whisper of escapades out on the “D” train
they do
the sharp-suited ties of spooky blues and they got the chain gang
they got the go get em attitude of the hot headed fortitude
of the manicured sparkle and the blue-toothed chuckle
that you hear between cars when the doors slam
and the blinking lights that speed on by
and the metal sounds that pass your eye
and the yellow lines faded to concrete
and the speed bump mortality rate
and the queens of the brooklyn-bound el
and the sweatshirt hoods
and the palm pilot smooths
and the blinking blonde beauty
tries to hide her eyes
and protect daddy’s prize
and the cop in the corner
dressed in blue collar shoes
and a fancy gray tee
with letters across the front
saying “i’m big and i’m bad and i’m en why pee dee”
the scuffling cobbled plastic soles
slip down the rapid ramps
slip past the transit checks
overturn the turnstiles
overthrow the cold smiles
of the fat woman peaking her head out the window
calling the next stop
squeezing a backpack between quick closing doors
and the bum in the back car
whispers to the frat boy,
“wake up, son, you’re missing your last chance”

Something Under The Bed

was keeping me up last night
it wasnt my heart
because things like that dont happen
but there was a soft clicking thumping noise
that seemed to be coming from below
it could have been the bed springs
but it was too steady
i heard it every time i closed my eyes
but every time i opened them
it was gone, perhaps,
by the straw that broke the camel’s back
of one extra sensation too many
but it was so quiet at any rate
to be rubbed out by the faintest bit of sight
it could have been from the apartment below
but i dont think so
it felt close and tight
i’m trained to think about these things, to think about
what’s going on in my head when i hear sounds
or voices
or other things
and the only thing i that i can imagine
this had to do with
is my heart
but then again,
things like that dont really happen
only in books
so i’ll have to make sure
i write it down.

Stamp Lick

Glen typed faster.

The pain brought out something like glee. He had to get it all down. He had to keep going. His shoulders ached from the tension that started at the tops of his wrists as he yanked the ligaments to his fingers back and back and snap snap back; his fingertips like balls of cotton and they skimmed, but the further he felt from his fingertips the more he pained, and his shoulders ached and his mind burned.

He looked at the page. Black characters and doom. Regret and anger. He was becoming what he was attacking but he wanted to get in the last word.

And his mind burned.

Evil people live forever because their lives have no meaning. Lives without meaning, without purpose, are instantaneous and simple. The life of an evil man exists wholly in the universe of his immediate experience. He doesn’t care about moving on, about establishing a foundation for a hope in an afterlife. He lives forever because time does not exist.

Without an afterlife, time has no meaning. If there is no transition between this life and the next, and if death brings mere absence, then life lasts forever in each moment, and evil never dies.

But he never thought he was immortal, and now he was going to prove it.

He pulled hard at the sheet of paper against the firm rubber wheel, and felt the soft gears slip as he yanked the sheet out. He forced it into a ball and threw it into the trash can at his foot. Then he reached into the can, uncrumpled the sheet, half-filled with type, and ripped it up. He was fierce and the paper stung his hands. He pulled the fabric of the paper apart and tore. Then he mashed the pieces back together into a ball and jammed it again into the plastic bottom of the trash bin.

That one was for his best friend Benjamin, and it wasn’t going well.

They should have lived constantly pulling at one another, a yin and yang, superego and id. Instead he was absorbed into Benjamin, at least on the surface. Instead he went with Benjamin no matter what Benjamin did, no matter what the moral consequence. Of course, there was no moral consequence for Benjamin. There was only pleasure. But Glen never smiled for pleasure; it only forced the guilt that was always there underneath. Playing games, proving things, taunting the death that for Benjamin could never come.

A short, airy stack of letters sat in the box on his desk, each folded and sealed into stamped and addressed business envelopes. His last stop before heading out to the falls would be the mailbox. He pictured himself jumping, but now into the mailbox, through the weighted door and into emptiness.

Those letters were formalities to make it seem like the one to Benjamin wasn’t the only one that mattered. Those came fast, before the muscle pain and the anguish in his head.

There was another dose of morphine in his drawer but he wanted to get through the typing before he drifted off again. His hands shook and he cried and he screamed at the typewriter and he kicked the trash bin and swore.

Thirty years he had wasted with parlor tricks and Benjamin. He had wanted to become free and lifeless like his friend, but if it wasn’t for the disease, he knew that still it would have been something else.

Good people die full of hope. The degree of their tragedy is equal to their level of awareness, but they have no choice. Good and evil, as a mind, is not a choice but rather a draw. The most damning lottery of all.

He wanted to tell Benjamin about the fraud. That pretending to be glib was useless and he knew it but he spent his whole real life trying it anyway. He wanted to tell Benjamin that he knew, that he knew and that it killed him but that it was Benjamin’s fault for not caring, for not noticing, for allowing him to soak up the passive anger of Benjamin’s so-called free spirit. And he wanted Benjamin to hurt like he hurt.

Evil people win. Good only prevails by chance. Evil people never get their just desserts.

The only people who get what’s coming to them are good people who, through the essence of their nature, inadvertantly allow guilt to make them pause and trip them up. Good people die either with ignorant hope or amidst pained failure, and their guilt kills them slowly every day. He had tried to go a different way, tried to go with dignity and with honor. Instead he was going with the remnants of his vindictive nature stamped in thin lines of ink across feathers of paper for all to read.

He tried again. He rolled another sheet into the typewriter and watched it settle in. He typed, “Dear Benjamin” on the first line and started playing with the roller, feeling it click as he turned, squeezing it and clenching his teeth.

It was over. He had had enough. Benjamin could do without for once in his life. He always told Glen how life was a blank slate anyway.

He took the stack of letters that he had finished and took his last dose and walked out into morning tight and in pain, leaving the unwritten letter in the machine. And as he fell and the air blew cool on his forehead and he thought of the pile of envelopes in the mailbox on the corner in the sunlight he hoped that Benjamin would see the unfinished letter and hurt. And he knew in the next instant that this, too, was futile and that it was all a dream. But it was all he had.


you ask me where it hurts
and i stare at the floor

like an ache that starts nowhere
and trickles into everything
like a whitewash mystery
like an independent dream
like a box
full of wet feathers
like a fluorescent rainbow
like a truck
reeling off the road
lines that end with “whatever”
and a sickness
seeping up from the ground

water rapid weeping
fleeting dusty gone
my memory is missing
trapped in a tent
in the rain.

Porpoise Love

Bedraggled old men wait for buses without screaming. Nobody notices. Nobody realizes this. Absence makes the heart grow wicked and cold.

I turned to the child sitting on the bench. He was wearing a red-striped shirt with a teddy bear emblem on the chest. He was nine. He was bipolar and his parents were taking him to a residential home so he wouldn’t chase them with kitchen knives anymore and would stop trying to rape his six-year-old sister, and so they wouldn’t have to be nervous about when the next outburst would come as he sat in the playroom at his watercolor desk and stared, smiling, reflectively at the clouds changing animal shapes.

They thought about trying lithium, but had concerns about his liver.

Art classes started at 11. His hair was brown and he had sweet eyes. The first stay would be for 18 months; two birthdays.

The old man next to his mother wet his pants and smiled. She didn’t move, either.

“I love porpoises,” the old man said, out loud. He continued, the volume of his voice rising and falling like rolling waves, “You’ve got to have porpoises in your life, to focus on, to see when you look out the window of your fucking jail cell.” He yelled at “jail cell,” and turned slightly right, towards the nursing home. He pronounced things like Bugs Bunny. I couldn’t tell if he was saying “purposes” or “porpoises,” but I didn’t bother to ask.

The little boy didn’t know I could see inside him, and he didn’t blink his soul.

Most people blink their soul. They don’t even know it, although if they knew it, if they knew they could, they still would. In fact, they would clench it. But still they blink it, and eventually they let the doors of their soul atrophy and crust.

How many Van Goghs has Ritalin cured?

The boy’s father stood to wait for the bus. He straightened the lap of his pants and pushed his hands into his pockets. He looked anxious and ready.

The little boy played with an electronic game in his little boy hands. He knew they were taking him someplace where people could watch him, would watch him, will always watch him. Maybe too the meds would be used anyway, depending on the circumstances, depending on his bunkmate, depending on the meals, the tone of voice of the math teacher, the number of things on the list of chores, the number of steps to the bathroom, the direction of the window in his room, or on the outcome of his electronic game.

“They jump,” said the old man. “They jump all around.”

Something screamed, but they didn’t hear.

The bus came. I gave the boy a kiss on his head to his father’s dismay. Nobody understands anything. I ran and they just got on the bus, on their way.

An All-American Boy

i’m all American

i’m hypocritical
and quick to judgment

nice clothes
ripped underwear

a little belligerent
especially in front of lots of people
on tuesday mornings
in september

i’m a little
all american
on friday nights
watching high school football
and skirts

i’m all
all american
when people point their finger at me
point point point point

i like road rage
and apple pie

poker chips
and beer
porn videos
and sunday mass

gramma and
the kids

i got your all american

Ink Wells

i run the risk of chemical fire by
i’ve swallowed a fly
i’m a fairy tale
there’s a fox in my ear,
pulling chicken wire
i’m blind
i’ve molded this road
on a wheel
and i’ll fire it on a hemi
raised chassis and
racing stripes
that trail away
and i’m gone

i’ll beg the neighbors for an audience
and run circles in the swimming pool
gain my footing in the grass
smack some whitewashed ass

let them howl
in the erotic weariness
as in nightmare hallways
my passions swing
from dead hemp vines
highway gas explosions
nifty bank shots
writhing witnesses
in my wake

a long drive ink well
and dripping spanish tiles
i’m over the barrell again
christianity is a papal misnomer
i’m still searching for the hill
no one can translate an epic
but joyce

and i’m drunk
and pavement can be a god
my appetite peels my skin away
and favors morsals
and tarts
serpent time
filtered calendars
shorten days

find a way to eighty-six
this shabby sick transportation
feeding on your daydreams
somebody found a pocket knife
and an incomplete notebook
scrawled in the millionaire will
of a deadbeat
with a hurricane sky
and blue is the color of the number of the souls
i want to find a name for that

Remote NYC Blues

I’m sort of, today, in a New York state of mind. I’ve been reading “The Queensboro Ballads” by Levi Asher, and I’m wearing a black turtleneck sweater. I haven’t shaved since yesterday morning. I have black boots on, below my way-cool low-slung jeans. I’m wearing my eyeglasses. I feel very Village today, even though I am very much not in the Village.

I envy people who can “put something together.” So as I read through “The Queensboro Ballads” I decide that I envy Mr. Asher for his constant constructions of meaningful and self-sustaining pieces of work. I want to be that guy, that guy who creates things that are meaningful. I’ve tried to do this, a few times, but I always end up getting distracted. I have little faith in what might exist of my own abilities. Perhaps if I were to see my finished potential products as a finish line of sorts, I would do better at arriving there. But I’m not good at dealing with abstraction. For me, the ends must justify the means and, in most cases, I need to have a concrete end for which to aim.

I miss New York City. It’s been several months since I’ve lived there and I miss it. I miss it because I feel like I’m more of a writer when I’m there. Although, certainly, I can’t really say that I’m any more or less productive as a writer anywhere else. But there’s just something about the place.

Where I am now, things get tired easily. People are tired in general here. Not sleepy tired but rather fucking boring tired. This is where the boring people come to die. And, if you haven’t realized, in spite of the cliche, dying of boredom takes a long time, apparently.

I have a clipping taped to my computer at work. It’s from “On The Road,” of course. My job is a tedious one. The clipping inspires me to not care about my job. My career is going nowhere. I used to be a good path. I used to be upwardly mobile. Now, even though it’s true that the only way is up, I feel much less mobile. On the one hand, this is just fine with me. I was never really happy doing what I was doing; I fell into my career path like an egg into a production chute. I was always aware that “it” wasn’t for me; the tiredness of it, the turmoil, the tedium, the repetition and the shallow banter. I hated it. But, on the other hand, it did offer some direction.

I have dreams. I always have had dreams, but I’ve treated them with some disdain. I’ve habitually ignored my dreams. My dreams are simple, from a logical standpoint. But, from a practical standpoint, they are perhaps slightly too specific to actually work. Or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself for the past 30 years, or however many of my 33 that I’ve been conscious of my ability to overextend my imagination.

My mind tends to wander. Always has. Classrooms for me were settings for daydreams, merely. Attention to detail for me meant planning my dreams down to the instant that I walked out to the podium to accept my 10th-straight Grammy Award for Best Singer-Songwriter Ever In The History of Springsteen/Dylan/Jagger-Inspired Rock And Roll. Standing in my basement bedroom with a curtain rod that tripled as a Brian Setzer-type microphone and a Pete Townshend guitar, I wore out scores of tapes as I rewound and played back each verse again and again and again in order to correct my inflections as I belted out lines whose meanings I barely understood.

I never got to be a rock and roll star.

Living in New York lended a certain air of self-credibility to my dreams, such as they had become. While I wasn’t able to attach myself to a serious line of dream-oriented work, I was at least able to picture myself as someone whose dream was in progress. In reality, though, I was merely a snapshot of this person. I wasn’t really pursuing the dream. I was merely living as the person in pursuit of the dream, hoping never to age, so as to keep up appearances.

While I didn’t allow myself to be goal-focused on my dream, I had determined that something about it was to be a writer of independent mind. I focused on maintaining, then the persona of someone who, I had decided, was the perfect sort of person to be on his way towards achieving the misty sort of goals I had established for myself. I wrote regularly, though not consistently about anything in particular. I found great places to write my meandering tales or, more aptly put, the starts of my tales. I became (and still am) the master of the opening chapter. I can set the stage like a virtuoso storyteller but once that is accomplished, my mind wanders onto something else.

I worked on my novel for three years. It started with a great opener, of course, a stream-of-consciousness ramble that had rhythm, that had style. It was self-effacing and insightful, evoking dream-like images of forests and flora and violence and paranoia. I spent thirty minutes on it and it was beautiful.

At first I led it in one direction, a different one than I would finally take it. I spent a few weeks on that before realizing that it was fruitless. But once I pushed it down the right path, it rolled and rolled. I wrote sporadically but always seemed to be working on it. When I wasn’t writing I was thinking about it. I came up with its major themes as I walked to and from work on the New York City sidewalks I would eventually flee in fear. Often, during the crucial early struggle with finding meaning in my work that would keep me on it, I considered giving up. In a burst of genius, I realized that I could come up with my great themes by working backwards. Instead of deciding what themes my characters would follow, I decided what themes I believed in and then had several internal, classroom-like dialogues, in which I placed the actions of my characters into the ideas that I favored. It worked extremely well. Not surprisingly (now), I had to see the finish line in order to stay in the race.

When I wasn’t specifically writing it, I was writing short scenes or transcriptions of emotion or thought that would eventually end up in the book. I had become so immersed in my dream that it became a part of me without my knowing, and more importantly, without my intending to. For the first time, I was living without thinking. I was free.

I finished my book, my novel, my first novel, after a few rounds of revisions, three weeks prior to the attack on the World Trade Center. Then the city changed for me, for everyone. I almost threw my book away. What use could it possibly have in this new world? I went from being on top of the world to full-blown despair. Not only was my psyche shattered, but what feeble condensation had come to exist from the mist of my dreams was blown away by a dark wind.

I think I’m getting back to my dreams as of late. I’ve started formulating the setting of my dream, which is a start. I’ve started the process of logically accepting the dreams that I have, that I am allowed to have them, that I can have them. That, I know, is the first start to accepting them emotionally, which is a much more difficult process, no matter how in touch you are with the logic of your thoughts. But I still realize that I need an endpoint in order to get started, and this is where I find my most dramatic flaw.

I envy those who can create consistently and I wonder how it’s done. It’s one thing to create and another to be a creator. The act of creation, a single act of creation, can be attributed to many things, not the least of which is blind luck. But to be a creator is different. I want to be a creator. I want to build lots of things. I have plans for an online journal. I’ve gotten so far as designing the pages and the concept of it. I have plans to write more novels. I’ve gotten so far as to write the beginnings of at least three more, one of which is at nearly 20,000 words. But I’ve done little more than stall on each of them.

I wonder why I sometimes get in a New York state of mind. It’s not just how I’m dressed today or what literary work I happened to stumble upon during my lunch break at work. I think, perhaps, that all I really want in my life is to be that person in the snapshot, that I have some horrible fear of success that keeps me from allowing myself to create a finish line, that I’m so shallow as to simply need the superficial appearance of life in order to live my life. New York, though, was for me the moment at which I was able to generate an end-game based on my going through the motions. And maybe feeling those sidewalks of New York is simply a melancholy reminiscence of something that I’ll always only have as a fleeting memory, a one-time thing. An enjoyable high school dance, a ride in a convertible, a first kiss.

There are pleasures in life, even in the town where boring people come to die. There is my best friend; there are my children; there are bright fall days and very dark nights where I lay with my son on the ground and watch as a lunar eclipse inspires ideas for tomorrows which, if I’m lucky, we’ll all have. There is hope in the despair that is my career that my career is not my career. Past is prologue, and maybe I’m not quite done with some parts of my past yet.

The world isn’t as horrible as it looked in the days, weeks, months following the day that that the towers came down. Maybe there is still a place for a book about a boy and his mind, like there was 30, 50 years ago. I worry less about it now. What dreams may come, right?

My New York state of mind carries more baggage with it than I might have thought it would have 3 years ago. This is to be expected, but it still makes me sad.

I admire those who are able to create with some consistency. It isn’t easy, trusting your dreams enough to move on despite the fact that the finish line is invisible, in the mist. But I’m trying to learn. So I suppose what I need to do is try to find some inspiration instead of desperation when I see the achievements of others. Basically, I have to stop being so damned selfish.

Damn, well, I was looking for the truth, I suppose. Now, on to tomorrow.

[Untitled Bonus Track]

there’s a brown paper bag
hiding in the leaves
my tire edge cracks
and my ears explode
life is not a love song
life is a voodoo doll
somebody change the station please
to keep my mind on the road
somebody break something
to change the direction of the stares
i never said i was
going to be easy.